tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg August 1, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
>> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: we begin with the discovery of debris which could be from flight mh370. the boeing triple seven vanished in march of 2014. 239 passengers and crew went missing. the object was found on the indian ocean and appears to be a torn wing flap and will be shipped to france for examination. joining me now from washington is steve ganyard, a former pilot and an abc news contributor and
considered the ghosts leader of the group. the taliban released a statement today saying he died of illness. it apologized for any mistakes he made during his rule. the afghan government suggests that he died two years ago in pakistan. reports of his death have cast uncertainty over the fate of peace talks taking place between taliban and afghanistan. joining me from washington matthew rosenberg of the new york times and also peter bergen, an analyst. peter, let me begin with this question. why would they keep it quiet that he died? how long do you think he has been dead? peter: answering the second question first, that is unclear. we have the afghan government saying he died in 2013.
like a lot of things, that may not be completely correct. there is no one else that can replace him. if you think about the claim, he said he was commander of the faithful. this is not just the head of the taliban and. i'm the leader of all muslims everywhere. it is a really invoked religious title that the prophet muhammad was the first. there is nobody in the second tier who could really claim that title. we will see some sort of succession struggle probably. some people have mentioned his son might try to take over. a couple of other contenders. none of them have the stature of mullah omar. charlie: does this mean people have been making decisions in his name with the imprimatur of
his reputation and spirituality? peter: i think that is true. what we have seen, the taliban is hardly a unified movement. there are three big parts of it and the likely result of mullah omar's departure have confirmed these groups may go their separate ways. others may split off and be more inclined to align with isis. we have seen that with small taliban groups. who is the only other commander of the faithful? the head of isis. charlie: matthew, what would you add to that? matthew: one person seems to have been giving orders for the taliban, the number two. if he died, if mullah omar died
in 2013, he spent two years deceiving his colleagues saying i have been talking to our leader. apparently there was a lot of disaffection with him. he apparently wants to take over. that makes it so much harder to make peace. charlie: he has been reaching, he is one of the contenders. is the other his son? matthew: his son is one of them. there are a few others that are around. one had been a prisoner in guantanamo bay. the telegram, it is hard to tell what is going on. this is a group of peasant
clerics, many of whom have known each other for years. there are not a lot of outsiders in the inner circle. it is difficult for western agencies and the afghan agencies to really get inside the leadership and figure out what is going on. charlie: i asked people after osama bin laden was killed, why not mullah omar? you must know where he is. they would always say we think he is here. we don't really know. and then i would say, would you go get him and they would say of course. peter: yeah, it says a lot about our intelligence agencies, like a trillion dollars since 9/11, it has come as a surprise that mullah omar, if these reports are true, died two years ago.
he had $10 million on his head. one of the most wanted men in the national security arena. it goes to what matthew was saying. this is an opaque movement. a i went back, when was the last time we had a definitive proof of life from mullah omar? the last audiotape was 2005. since then, he has released written communications once a year. there was very little evidence he was alive even when he was alive. the most basic facts have not been clarified. it gets to this question of, negotiating with this opaque movement, their leader dies, what happens next? i think it will be complicated. on the plus side, if the
movement splits, you are able to negotiate with the moderate elements. on the negative side, there is no one figure who can bring them together and do a deal. that person was mullah omar. it is unlikely his successor will make peace negotiations. charlie: do we know he wanted a deal, or do we assume so because they would not have done it if not? peter: i would be curious to see what matthew says. i can't believe they did not start negotiating some sort of deal without him. if you think about it, the negotiations between the taliban and the united states and the taliban and afghan government, this long preceded the beau bergdel deal. it did not start just in the last six months. this is a process that has been ongoing many years. i can't believe mullah omar
would not have sanctioned it. matthew: it seems he did. if you look at it, the chief negotiator had been his secretary. that was 2010 when it started. the process stalled quickly. which goes to assume mullah omar was dissatisfied. mullah omar, under his leadership, was adamant about not negotiating with the afghan government. now they are. now that he is known to the be dead, will they support further negotiations with the afghan government? we don't know. there were talks that have been postponed. that raises questions. to whom will they talk. charlie: what about their success on the ground in afghanistan today?
matthew: they have done so well, perhaps this has been a blessing for them. they really have made impressive gains and have given the afghan military an incredible amount of trouble. they have struggled mightily to keep up with them. that is frightening as well. the movement that was leaderless, people were grousing about his absence, will it fall apart or continue to press forward? if it does continue to press forward, that should help to keep people on board, which could be problematic. charlie: peter, i found it interesting in the notes of what we have learned, the family said we apologize for whatever mistakes we made to the state of afghanistan and to the taliban. it is an interesting thing to do.
many people think of things like that. they don't really say them. peter: i'm not an expert on islamic theology as it relates, but one thing, when you die, you're supposed to pay off all your debts. you are supposed to make amends to people. as part of the act of dying. maybe this was their way of doing it. it is a puzzling statement. mullah omar made a lot of mistakes. he drove afghanistan, the world bank stopped measuring afghanistan's economic indicators because there were none. the population of kabul is about 3 million people. they came in, a moment of a honeymoon, and they took away almost every aspect of life most
people enjoy. the economy dematerialized. mullah omar had reasons to be sorry. charlie: and what they did for women and culture. two examples. peter: they provided something of a model for isis. if you think about the destruction of the buddha, they destroyed the major tourist attraction. that is similar to what we have isis -- seen isis do in museums in mosul and other sites in iraq and syria. and the women, the same playbook. isis is more brutal. the taliban is the most recent model we have seen. charlie: what will happen in pakistan because of his death? matthew: an american official said he is not sure the
pakistanis knew about this. i said, come on. they know where i am. how are they losing mullah omar? if you make a decision early on you don't want to know, it is easy to lose track of them. the response so far has been to say nothing official about it. seems like they want to move on. charlie: they said the same thing about osama bin laden. we did not know. matthew: the raid was an american force coming into their country, killing him and leaving, which was a huge problem internally. it challenged their dominance. this does not challenge them at all. this is some old guy who died in a hospital we don't know about. it is easy to move on and say
this is not our problem. charlie: one of the things i remember, i think it was the saudi's went in person or otherwise to talk to mullah omar and say you've got to get osama bin laden out of here. peter: that is right. prince turkey went after the embassy attacks in kenya and tanzania. turkey went and said this is it. you've got to expel this guy. mullah omar, this was an early indicator about bin laden, mullah omar told them to get lost. prince turkey wished he never attempted to do it. mullah omar was standing by bin laden long before 9/11. when 9/11 came on, he lost his country on this point of principle about not handing bin
laden over. charlie: he said it would be against my religion not to treat a friend the way i am treating osama bin laden. peter: that is right. he gave an interview and said it would be betraying islam to hand over bin laden. charlie: did we come close to finding him? we might have, we could have. we might have been there? peter: in 2010, i spoke to some officials, military officials in afghanistan. they said we think mullah omar is spending some of his time in karachi. that is where the afghans say he died. it is a big city. 20 million people. now, was that their assessment
based on real information or a hunch? it was not clear. no one was surprised by the fact he was in pakistan. charlie: we had always believed that is where he was. peter: yeah. the senior leadership of the taliban has been living in pakistan. charlie: so what will this mean in terms of the taliban's effort to negotiate or take over afghanistan? matthew. matthew: sorry. it is hard to say. it depends. if they stay together, they have been doing well militarily. if they fall apart, it undermines the rest of the country.
it does not help afghanistan. you have a bunch of insurgent factions in different places. no central authority. it is chaotic as ever and dangerous for ordinary people, whomever. on the point of the americans, i spoke to a fair amount of americans and i was told it was not until tuesday he was convinced omar was probably dead. they were not looking very hard. he may have been a wanted man, but when the afghan intelligence looked into this, they quickly found out not many people wanted to put effort into finding him. it was not like bin laden. there was no special cia team hunting him down. charlie: why was that? matthew: the americans had come to see him as a spiritual leader. they were worried about field commanders. one american general compared
him to el cid, whose corpse was put on a horse after he was killed. why bother looking for this guy, who is not important enough? experts can debate whether that was a wise decision. he was there unifying factor. the americans had kind of written him off. that's the impression i get. peter: also, if you are going to negotiate, the united states made a decision to negotiate. you can't have somebody on a capture-kill list if you are in the middle of a negotiation. it does not work that way. at a certain point, the afghan taliban is not considered a terrorist organization like al qaeda because we negotiated with them. we won't negotiate with terrorists. we started negotiating. we would not have targeted him the same way.
it is interesting this is news. we found out this week that mullah omar was dead and might have been a long time. it raises questions about the intelligence community's capacity. matthew: even now, they are just trying to piece this together. we know he is dead. two weeks ago, two years ago, we are not sure. that says a lot. they are trying to figure this out. they don't have a clear idea. charlie: everything in terms of these issues has to do with isis and their recruitment and success. all of that. m.r.i. echo do you share that? peter: there is a point.
if you take what matthew said about the taliban advancing, and you add to that mullah omar's departure may be an advancement for isis recruitment, that raises a big question about american policy in afghanistan. we are going to pull out all troops by the end of 2016. whether it is hillary clinton or jeb bush that is president, i think he or she might well say do we want a rerun of isis taking over afghanistan or pakistan? should we look at this policy? i think that is a good question to ask. merely because the obama administration is leaving office, that does not mean isis may not become a factor in that region. matthew: you look at the parallels between the taliban and isis. when the taliban took over in the 1990's, it was the world premiere jihadist movement. they have been supplanted by isis.
they have the same kind of claim of leading the faithful and now they attract everyone. there is still a lot of fighting in afghanistan. is this going to fall apart? it is so hard to tell. it is amazing it took two years to figure out the guy had died. charlie: matthew congratulations on doing some very good reporting. peter, cnn, his book was called "manhunt." thank you, peter. we will be right back. ♪
charlie: adam moss is here. the editor in chief of new york magazine. he has held that role since 2004. last year announced the magazine would be published biweekly. on his howelm it has won 30 awards. david carr said many would suggest mr. moss with his deft hand is one of the best editors working in the hybrid age. i would agree with that. i'm pleased to have adam moss at
the table. while we are quoting here, you said to me 10 years ago that i love this magazine. do you still love this magazine in the same way? adam: yes. in part in the same way. in part in a different way. charlie: what is the new way? 10 years ago we were just a print magazine. it was a very exciting thing to do. it was limited in dimension and audience. in those 10 years, we have really become a publication of about five different digital magazines. one on entertainment and fashion, and news. bolger is one of them. the cut. the science of us is something we started this year, last year.
on human behavior. and of course the web operates with a different dynamic. although it still has storytelling. charlie: is electronic reading different? adam: a lot of people print it. a lot of people read it episodically on their phone. they are directed to it from social media or other places. they don't necessarily know it is part of the new york magazine universe. these are the dynamics of how we live in this media world right now. that is all fine with us. we do also kind of supplement it often with other material that you can only do in a digital medium. video and animation, audio. the sorts of things you do. charlie: my favorite word is would you send me a link? adam: links are very important.
it is an incredible way to distribute material. charlie: somebody would tell me about a great article and i would say send me a link. it is instantly there. adam: and it has come recommended by somebody. charlie: and it comes clean. adam: yeah. there are many people in my business, even today, who are somewhat resistant about the not so new ways people take in information. i have never been that way. and we as a company have never done that. the digital medium has allowed us to explode the amount of people who can read our content and has allowed us to change our business and journalistic mission. charlie: it reduces your expenses. adam: it is cheaper to do.
there is no paper or postage. manufacturing cost is cheaper. the important thing about it, it eliminates the distribution obstacles that the mail presents. so suddenly we publish and we are read in los angeles, london, shanghai, and that changes the mission of the magazine from one that is about the concrete jungle of new york city, which has been part of it, to a kind of global urban universe. that has been exciting. charlie: what about biweekly? adam: that relates to this. we went biweekly for three reasons.
one reason was to stabilize our finances. no question. another reason was to liberate money from printing fewer issues, to buttress our digital universe of journalism. the third reason was to respond to the ways people exist in time as part of their reading life. weeklies, when magazines were consistently weekly, you would get time and newsweek. you would get the new yorker. you would get a series of magazines on a monday and they would have a certain urgency because one week meant something. with the explosion of digital media, a week did not mean as much. therefore, we thought as we were doing so much online, we thought
it was more valuable to readers if we created a biweekly that was more substantive that you'd want to keep around. charlie: because you had more time to do a?it? >> we would have more time to do it and because that became our mission. we would go fast and slow. the fast stuff was all online. the slow stuff was more deliberate about making a higher-quality magazine. charlie: does the digital revolution put a restriction on editing, which is what you do? adam: it has a lot of effects on editing. stuff has to go up faster. there is less time to edit and write. it is a more impulsive medium in that sense, which is not to say it is not intelligent. it is more like conversation. you don't have a chance to think
about what you're going to say. there is that aspect of it. what i think of, this is very interesting in the way i work, when i was a magazine editor the most important thing was to create an environment that we controlled as editors. we controlled you read the cover first, we controlled your mood as you went through the magazine. the order of things was important. the mix was important. and now in this world, with the explosion of social media, most people come at all of your pieces of content independent of the environment. they are floating in the ether. so that thing i have been trained to do, which is to create a controlled environment, has been blown to smithereens.
charlie: is it scary? adam: it is different. what is challenging is that we are still doing a print magazine we love. it is important to us. we have to do many things at once. we have to create a piece of what we hope is great journalism that can exist all by itself outside of the environment. and we also are paying attention to the surrounding material and the effect, the emotional effect, which has been one of the things i have loved about magazines. the emotional relationship people have with the publication. you look at a magazine. magazines have different personalities. charlie: it speaks to your spirit and your taste.
adam: and your mood. charlie: look at this cover. started in 1968. he brought together a stable of gifted writers. you have done that. it was a combination of service features, political features new york features, national stories. is it the same? adam: it is. charlie: as you become global, is new york a less significant component? so that new york gives you a location and a title. adam: and a sensibility. a way of looking at the world. the content itself is not about new york so much, but the content, everything is informed by a certain way new yorkers think. you know what i'm talking about.
it has to do with a kind of skeptical intelligence. i think a compassionate intelligence. we have tried hard to make a magazine that is sympathetic and wry and funny. charlie: if somebody said you have a european sensibility, would you like that? you think of the magazines in paris that admire you and give you awards. adam: new york city has always been more like a paris or london then it has been like a cincinnati. charlie: even chicago. adam: so to that extent, we are a cosmopolitan magazine of a particular kind. we have readers in paris. we have readers in london and chicago. miami. whatever.
these places that have a certain lens and that is what we are about. so whether we write about bill de blasio, barack obama, hollywood, science, what not, we try to do all of that through a lens which is broad but has consistent attributes. charlie: take a look at this cover. this young man caotes came and sat at this table. adam: he is an amazing intellect. one of the true public intellectuals of our age. charlie: what does that mean of our age? adam: there used to be a category. categorically he is that. also he has had an amazing effect on the discourse of the
last few years. charlie: he writes about what he knows. adam: what he knows personally and layering on to his own experience a great moral force and a great intelligence. charlie: where is the magazine going? adam: we are going to try to do what we do better. i think the basic formula we have, which is printing this magazine that we care about, is still very crucial to our operation. expanding our digital journalism, doing more stuff we can publish. digitally we may end up starting
verticals, basically many magazines. we did a great digital project this year called scene, which was a pop up magazine about the art world. those are exciting. charlie: out of your head? adam: that one wasn't. some of them are. it is a very smart staff and entrepreneurial. charlie: the future of the magazine is fine. as long as they adjust. adam: i think so. one thing we have learned is for all of the famous problems with media, those problems are about business models and advertising. they are not about the demand for the work itself. we have an audience that is 10 times what it was when i got into the magazine. at least. and we are charging more for it.
people are paying for it. there is not a reader issue. readers want this stuff to do well. charlie: you said in a speech, what a mess of a business you are about to enter. what did you mean? adam: the business models are up for grabs. that essentially most businesses like ours have been dependent on advertising as their source of revenue. advertising still works. we have a strong advertising business. it is dangerous to be completely dependent on an industry which is undergoing a great deal of change.
so different media companies are doing different things. some of them are going to the conference business. some of them are going into television, very heavily into video. charlie: do you understand the impact video is going to have? is it going to be another component? adam: some companies will become more video companies than word companies. charlie: i can imagine -- adam: that kind of stuff is less important. we did one of those things about the history of the hamburger. charlie: who's idea was that?
adam: benjamin wallace. anyway, if you go to the online version, you will find three videos that supplement the storytelling. they are all very good. charlie: this was a great story. courtesy of bill keller, i think. adam: he was our partner. we had this idea in all of the conversation about rikers, what was not properly understood was the life, if you thought of it as a city, the life of the city was about. our operating idea was what does it smell like. so we went to bill keller, and a former editor of the new york
times, and we created a team. that team went and did a series of intimate oral accounts of what life was like for the prisoners, the guards, librarians, and teachers. really looked at it as if it were its own urban environment. very intimate. and harrowing, as you would imagine, and with some interesting storytelling. but also online supplemented in all kinds of ways with storytelling you can do online. charlie: the obama history project. a conversation about where he stands. adam: what is fascinating, i looked at it last night, they were responding -- it is amazing
how fickle history is. they were responding, that piece was in january, they were responding to the events on the ground in january. any number of historians said what will change his legacy is what will never happen, a deal with iran. what would change his legacy is what will never happen, some kind of deal with cuba. all of these things were unimaginable in january. particularly the run obama has had over the past few weeks has had a great deal of affect on his legacy. charlie: adam moss of new york magazine. thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪
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